From 1 Corinthians 3

In these verses, Paul rebukes the Corinthians for a practice that the modern church can resonate with (probably more than any of us would like to admit). The Corinthians are struggling with division that comes from their identification with specific leaders in the church. This has caused them to lose their focus on the calling that God has put in front of them and on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t think we struggle with this – sure, some people put too much focus on their favorite celebrity preacher, but I don’t think it’s a really widespread issue.” But I want to reframe this a little bit, the Corinthians were too focused on the people who had impacted them the most, and they stopped thinking about the larger body of Christ like they should have. When we frame Paul’s concern in that light, it challenges how we think about some pastors today but it also challenges how we think about our churches sometimes. I’ll use the churches in my own life as an example – Christ the King planted, Mt. Calvary watered, but God gave the growth. We forget that we aren’t just a bunch of individual churches, we are individual instances of the Church. As such, we should work to support and build one another up – rather than looking at one another as rivals or opposition – in support of the Gospel message that is our one foundation.

This does raise another question about the division that we see in the Church regarding denominations. This too is a sinful division; however, it is less simple than a focus on individual leaders or churches. The core of the division between denomination is the plethora of theological differences that set us apart from one another. We should actively work to resolve those differences, but we cannot operate as if they do not exist for the sake of nominal unity. Overcoming these divisions is difficult, and we should strive for true reconciliation with one another, not just ignore those things that divide us to pretend we are united fully.

Focus on God

We are reminded in these verses that we are build on an unwavering foundation of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Function in Our Lives

We are encouraged to view the Church more holistically than we usually do.

Topics to Pray About                                                              

  • Thank God for the foundation we have in Christ.
  • Confess to God the times you think of the world divided by things that have impacted you personally.
  • Ask God to bless His Church with genuine unity.

In His Service,

J. LeBorious